It was a thrilling battle for MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) reclaimed his Championship lead with a 10 point lead after Race 2 victory at MotorLand Aragon for the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round, despite a late-race mistake allowing his rivals to close in on the reigning Champion.
Rea had started the race from pole position and, despite pressure from Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) in the early corners, was able to pull away from the chasing group. Rea led every lap throughout the race despite a mistake on Lap 14 which allowed Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) to close the gap from around two seconds to just two tenths. Despite Davies attempting a move into Turn 1 on Lap 15, Rea held on to take victory by over one second ahead of Davies. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), who started the race from fourth, got ahead of Redding in the early stages, claimed his first podium for Honda and Honda’s first podium since Magny-Cours in 2016; Bautista and Honda showing good pace throughout the weekend.
Redding would finish the race in fourth place after being passed by Bautista and Davies, but the British rider also had to make a move on Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) on Lap 4 to help secure fourth place. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) made it three Ducati machines in the top five with fifth place as he also got by van der Mark, with the Dutchman finishing in sixth place.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) made it two Hondas in the top seven with a seventh-place finish after a titanic battle with a group of five riders. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) claimed eighth place with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in ninth and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) completing the top 10. There was just one second separating Haslam, Razgatlioglu, Lowes and Gerloff.
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had a strong result in 11th place, finishing less than a tenth of a second behind American rider Gerloff as part of the group of five riders fighting for seventh place. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was the lead BMW rider in 12th place as the final rider in that battle; Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) finishing around three seconds behind Sykes in 13th. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) completed the points with 15th.
Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance), Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing), Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team) and teammate Lorenzo Gabellini all finished the race while Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) retired from the race following a crash on Lap 4 of 18 at Turn 15; the French rider unable to re-join the race following the incident where he came off on his bike on his own. He was not the only non-finisher as Marco Melandri (Barni Racing) who retired with a technical issue and Roman Ramos (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) retired from the race on the penultimate lap.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
1.) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2.) Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +1.280
3.) Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +3.599
4.) Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +5.445
5.) Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) +6.687
6.) Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +9.561